mamb— SLAB eovs
Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh. Until 9 Dec. The play which established John Byrne as a leading Scottish playwright offers rich pickings to any theatre company. The characters are writ larger than life and twice as verbally inventive; their hopes, horrors and hatreds are readily identifiable, if not always agreeable; and Byrne even illustrates the text in his inimitable style, so you know what the characters look like, and exactly how they dress.
With the right actors, you can’t go far wrong, and director ian Wooldridge has cast this production wisely, using performers who relate readily to the play's cynical, abrasive humour. The pace is kept up, at the occasional expense oi intelligibility, and the production’s rhythm serves to emphasise the script’s moments of resigned pathos -teawoman Sadie teaching young Lucille lessons in life and love; Phil and Spanky sticking up for Hector, the butt of their )okes, when the chips appear to be down. So why does the end result seem less than the sum oi lts parts?
The problem seems to be one of trying too hard. This is especially evident in Tony Cowie's portrayal of Hector, which at times looks like an early pantomime performance, and wins laughs by sacrillcing credibility. Kenneth Owens’ Currie would also benefit from more subtlety, even if the part is essentially two-dimensional.
Given a longer run, the show would probably find its balance, but I‘d argue that the temptation to overplay Byrne should be scrupulously avoided -the writing is more than lively enough in itself. That said, this is a stylish, ii flawed, approach to a very remarkable play. (Andrew Burnet)
Tramway, Glasgow. Until Sat 9 Dec. Odyssey Theatre's exotic production oi Macbeth is like watching two plays at the same time. Despite director Nigel Jamieson's assurances that he has
used the influence oi Ball only where it suits the demands of the play, there are few occasions where Far East and West join together to any meaningful ellect.
Undoubtedly a worthwhile experiment, the production is a visual and aural treat from beginning to end. The multl-raclal cast, all square jaws and slicked-backed hair, is reminiscent of Peter Brook's Mahabharata. They take to the sloped stage playing a compulsive rhythm on Indonesian instruments- gongs, bells, drums and the occasional wind lnstrument- and they stay round the side of the stage to continue the beat throughout the production.
The set is bare and basic, relying purely on lighting, costume and movement for its visual splendour. The bright, multi-coloured outfits, combine Japanese designs with Balinese materials and vary from the white, all-in-one cotton numbers worn by the spirit-like witches, to the brown, patchwork, overcoats worn by the servants. Again taking the cue from Balinese tradition, the movement is angular and stylised, the actors edging crab-like with bended knees about the stage.
All this is fine, but it not only has little to do with Macbeth, it also restricts the actors' abllltyio enagage in it. Jamieson takes his inspiration from Duncan’s line about Macbeth's castle being ‘a pleasant seat', but this one description does not justify the whole play being set in an exotic paradise. It simply doesn't work to be told about Scotland, when all you can see is Ball. And the actors' movement, far from finding them a physicality to match the heightened language, limits them to too narrow a range of gesture and expression. The effect is to swamp Shakespeare, confuse the story and blur the play's dramatic power.
There are times when it does work, notably the witches and the battle scenes, but much more work should have been done on the delivery of the lines and the dramatic impetus of the play to do iusitice to the cultural gloss with which it has been painted. it’s worth seeing for its vigorous picture of lndonesia, but it has little to do with
Shakespeare. (Mark Fisher)
10pm—midnight. £4.50(£3). Terry Ncason joins panto stars in the first ofthree weekends of late-night comedy and music. Featuring the Gordon Dougal Special Needs orchestra.
I The End oi the Eighties Kilmardinny Arts Centre. 50 Kilmardinny Avenue. Bearsden. 041 943 0312. 8pm. Members of the Kilmardinny Theatre Group give a comical look back at the decade.
I Alter Panto Cabaret. Tron Theatre. 63 Trongatc. Glasgow. 041 552 4267. See Fri 15.
I Wilde and Natl 0‘1 lenrys Riverside Cafe-Bar. 445 Great Western Road (Entrance via Kelvin Walk Way). Kelvinbridge. Glasgow, 041 339 1275. 9.30pm. Free. See Sun 10.
I RIIi Mayall Pavilion Theatre. 121 Renfield Street.Glasgow.0413321846. 7.30pm. £8, £7. £6. See Sunday 10~but there's a slightly better chance ofgettinga ticket for this week‘s performance.
I Jesus and the Beanstalk Upstairs at Bonhams, 194 Byres Road, Glasgow, 041 357 3424. 9pm. Free. Wilde and Nattgo controversial as they join in the festive spirit with their two-man comedy panto. Should be a good laugh. but probably not one for the kids.
I THEATRE ROYAL llope Street. 331 1234. Peter Pan Tue 12—Sat 16 Dec. 7.15pm& Sat mat 2. 15pm. £3—£25. For the second year running. the Scottish Ballet perform J.M. Barrie‘s fantasy. though the production, which remains unchanged. lacks a spirit of magic and fun.
I DANCE FACTORY 142 Calder Street. 423 9430.
The Dance Factory is open for a varietyof classes during the week. both evening and daytime. For example. Jazz (Beginners) at 6.45pm on Mondays, Ballet at 6.45pm on Wednesdays and Ballroom and Latin at 7.30pm on Fridays. There are also classes for children in ballet, tap. modern theatre dance. Highland dance. baton twirling and RAD Ballet. Phone for more details.
I GLASGOW ACADEMY OF DANCE 2’6, 19 Queen Street.2210750.
Classes are held throughout the week in a mirrored and barred studio 1000 feet square and cost from £2-£2.80. Phone for details ofdaily classes. The Acadamy will be closed from Wed 20 Dec—Mon 8Jan. Open Elementary Ballet Mondays 7.30—9pm.
Lunchtime Stretch Tuesdays
12.30pm—1 . 15pm. Good for city centre workers.
Beginners Jazz Wednesdays 6.30—8pm. Beginners Tap Thursdays 5.30-6.3(lpm. Contemporary Beginners Thursdays 6.30—8pm.
Ballroom Fridays 7—8pm. I SCOTTISH BALLET STUDIO 261 West Princes Street. 331 2931 . Steps Outclasscs are run on a casual basis; adults £2 (£1 .50). juniors £1.51). The Studio will be closed from Sat 16 Dec—Mon 9 Jan. Contemporary Tuesdays 6—7pm. AduliJazz Tuesdays 7.15—8.30pm.
Beginners Contemporary Thursdays 6—7.15pm.
Beginners Ballet 14 yrs and above. Saturdays 10—1 1.15am. 14 yrs—adult. Beginners Jazz 14 yrs and above. Saturdays 11.30am—1pm.
I T'Al CHI CLASSES Beginners. lunchtime and children's classes available plus residential weekends. Phone Larry Butler on 334 3507 for details.
I RILLHEAD SECONDARY SCHOOL Oakfield Avenue. nearest tube. Kelvinbridge.
Contemporary Dance with Jane Simpson. Mondays 7—8.30pm. £2. Phone 334 3349 for details. During December (Mon 1 1 & Mon 18) Gregory Nash will be takingover Jane Simpson's dance classes.
Jazz Dance with Karen Pasi. Thursdays 6.30—8pm. £2.50. Phone 339 4777 for details.
Dance Aerobics with Joanne Borthwick. Thursdays 8—9pm. £2.
Lindsay John Sat 9 6; Sun 10 Dec 10am—5pm. (£20115). A chance to explore the work developed over the past six years by the inﬂuential, experimental performer. llaving founded Catalyst Performing Arts. .lohn developed art interest in the strange. compelling discipline of Buto and studied under its co-founder, Kazuo ()hno, ill Japan. More recently he has collaborated on exciting projects with the music company, Test Department. Places are limited on the course so book in advance by contacting Sheila McCubbin on 041 334 4836.
I ST BRIDES CENTRE Orwell Terrace. off Dairy Road. 346 1405. Tickets available from Theatre Workshop only. 2265425. Waving At The Tide Thurs H—Sat 16 Dec. 8pm. £7 (£3.50). The Kosh present their biggest project yet, with three actors and fifteen dancers accompanied by the SCO. a storyline by Roger McGough. design by Scottish artists Robert (‘allender and Elizabeth ()gilvie and a specially commissioned score from composer lloward Davidson. See feature.
I ASSEMBLY ROOMS The Dance Base. George Street. phone 220 4348 for details. Dance Base Dance classes for all ages and abilities with various teachers, including the engaging Sheridan Nicol (Edinburgh's Dancer-in-Residence). Turn up fifteen minutes before each class in comfortable. unrestrictive clothing. All classes are run on an informal basis and cost £2 (£1 ) per session.
Lunchtime Jazz with Sheridan Nicol. Tuesdays 1pm.
Children's Jazz 9 yrs and above. with Sheridan Nicol. Tuesdays 5pm.
Open Jazz (Level 2) with Sheridan Nicol. Tuesdays 6. 15pm: Wednesdays 6pm. Adult Tap (Beginners) with Sheridan Nicol. Tuesdays 7.30pm.
Jazz (Advanced/Pro) with Sheridan Nicol. Wednesdays 11am.
Lunchtime Tap with Sheridan Nicol. Wednesdays 1pm.
Children’s Tap 9 yrs and above, with Sheridan Nicol. Wednesdays 5pm. Contemporary with various teachers. (no experience necessary). Wednesdays 7.30pm.
Absolute Beginners Jazz with Raymond Kaye. Thursdays 5.30pm.
Contemporary (Intermediate) with Marilyn Williams. Fridays 12.30pm.
Jazz (Elementary) 14 yrs and above, with Sheridan Nicol. Fridays 2.15pm.
Junior Youth Dance Company with Sheridan Nicol. Fridays 5pm. Experimentsl/lmprovlsational Dance with Alan Grieg. Saturdays 11am.
I EPWORTH HALLS Nieolson Square, phone 2291071 for info.
All classes are taught by Tracy llawkes, director ofSPRlNG and a member of
54 The List 8— 21 December 1989